Upcoming Colloquium: Dr. Sarah Quinn on ‘Political Fractures, Market Bonds’

We’re pleased to feature one of UW’s own for this week’s colloquium. Please join us at 3:30 in Smith 304 for Dr. Sarah Quinn’s talk Political Fractures, Market Bonds: Finance, Technology and the Politics of Debt in the United States. As always, join us for a reception in Smith 409 following the talk.

Abstract: Scholars typically conceive of states as exogenous to markets, stabilizing and policing them from the outside. Against this, a growing literature shows that governments can be creative, entrepreneurial market participants. This talk sheds light on why and how government officials engage entrepreneurially in markets by studying a key juncture in the history of the American government’s participation in the housing market. In 1968, the Johnson Administration reorganized housing finance, “spinning-off” Fannie Mae and encouraging the use of securitization. This policy was in part a response to a showdown over the debt limit. Rather than being paralyzing, this budget constraint generated new policy responses. I use this case to theorize how fragmented and contentious political institutions create incentives for officials to promote homeownership, develop financial technologies, and use hybrid forms of governance. I reconsider securitization as a political and social technology, and draw conclusions for models of states and markets in the U.S.

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